Society

Australia has a long history of protests. Our rights should be better protected

We also have a history of governments trying to suppress protest. It’s time this changed Hugh de Kretser The Guardian The deputy prime minister recently told school students they should be in school “learning about Australian history” instead of joining the global student strike for climate action on Friday. Half of what he said was good advice. For if the students researched Australia’s protest history, they would learn that protest has been critical to so many social advances that we often now ... Read More »

‘I can’t go to school, I have to save the planet’

Children and teens across Australia are joining a global strike today against leaders’ inaction on climate change. Here’s what they’re saying. School strike 4 climate By Laura Chung and Charlotte Grieve The Sydney Morning Herald A16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl called Greta Thunberg started a global campaign for student action that led to today’s worldwide protests against inaction on climate change. Children and teenagers in Australia have taken to the streets to add their voices to calls for change. As Finnish educator ... Read More »

A Mass Shooting of, and for, the Internet

Before entering a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of one of the deadliest mass murders in the country’s history, the accused gunman paused to endorse a YouTube star in a video that appeared to capture the shooting. Kevin Roose The New York Times “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie,” he said. To an untrained eye, this would have seemed like a bizarre detour. But the people watching the video stream recognized it as something entirely different: a meme. Like ... Read More »

Christchurch Shooting Updates: 40 Are Dead After 2 Mosques Are Hit

Forty people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, in a terrorist attack that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” The New York Times • Officials said that four people were in custody, and that a number of explosive devices were found attached to vehicles that they had stopped. • A Muslim leader in New Zealand said the attack was especially shocking as it took place ... Read More »

‘This is New Zealand’s darkest day’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responds to Christchurch shootings

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the man responsible for the horrific New Zealand mass shooting was Australian-born, labelling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”. Shannon Molloy, news.com.au Townsville Bulletin Addressing reporters in Sydney, Mr Morrison extended his sympathies to all New Zealand people and “particularly those of Islamic faith”, following the Christchurch attacked that claimed at least 40 lives. “Australia and New Zealand — we’re not just allies, we’re not just partners. We’re family. As family members… we grieve, ... Read More »

Music was ubiquitous in Ancient Greece

Now we can hear how it actually sounded Much of what we think of as Ancient Greek poetry, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, was composed to be sung, frequently with the accompaniment of musical instruments. aeon And while the Greeks left modern classicists many indications that music was omnipresent in society – from vases decorated with lyres, to melodic notation preserved on stone – the precise character and contours of the music has long been considered irreproducible. However, the UK ... Read More »

Drought-hit Toowoomba eyes Brisbane water

A drought-affected Queensland city may be forced to take millions of litres from Brisbane’s water supply via a yet-to-be-used pipeline. Brisbane Times AAP Toowoomba’s three dams were at 35.7 per cent on Thursday – the lowest level since before the 2011 floods. When the level falls below 40 per cent, the Regional Council is permitted to take water from Wivenhoe Dam – the main reservoir for Brisbane and Ipswich – via the $187 million Toowoomba Pipeline. While the council has ... Read More »

Conspiracy theories fuel prejudice towards minority groups

Some 60% of British people believe in at least one conspiracy theory, a recent poll reveals. Authors: The Conversation From the idea that 9/11 was an inside job to the notion that climate change is a hoax, conspiracy theories divert attention away from the facts in favour of plots and schemes involving powerful and secret groups. With the aid of modern technology, conspiracy theories have found a natural home online. Conspiracy theories often unfairly and erroneously accuse minority groups of ... Read More »

The Best of Bad Options for Syria’s Idlib

The Syrian regime vows to reconquer Idlib, the north-western zone hosting its hardest-core remaining jihadist opposition. ICG But an all-out offensive would be calamitous. Turkey and Russia should recommit to their “de-escalation” deal for Idlib, bolstering it with measures that buy time for a lasting solution. What’s new? An agreement between Turkey and Russia that protects Syria’s rebel-held Idlib governorate from a regime offensive is under increasing stress. Clashes between jihadists and other militants inside Idlib and regime forces have ... Read More »

EU on no-deal Brexit vote: ‘Like Titanic voting for the iceberg to move’

Brussels spokesman offers withering assessment of MP decision on Wednesday night The Irish Times Brussels has said a vote by UK MPs to block a no-deal Brexit in any circumstances is a meaningless move, with one senior EU negotiator describing it as “the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way”. A European commission spokesman offered a withering assessment of the decision by MPs to ignore Theresa May’s assertion that no deal was the default position unless there was a ... Read More »

The farce and the furious: how May’s government shot itself in the foot

London: There is no bottom to the well of Brexit insanity. Nick Miller The Canberra Times On Wednesday, the British government managed to shoot itself in the foot with a gun that had no bullets in it. This should have been an easy day. The motion before the Commons – put by the government, with Prime Minister Theresa May as its signatory – was that it refused to back a “no deal” Brexit, something everyone but the most hard-core Brexiters agree ... Read More »

The ‘R’ word: Are Australians really getting poorer?

Is it the recession you have when you’re not having a recession? Tory Maguire The Age With an election looming, treasurer Josh Frydenberg is just weeks away from delivering his first, and possibly last, federal budget. Last week, OECD data revealed that the Australian economy has fallen into a ”per-capita recession” for the first time since 2006, with global and Australian growth predicted to slow even further. The announcement prompted scepticism from critics. Ross Gittins called it a scare tactic – that any ... Read More »

Knife and weapon offences reach highest level since 2009

In 2018 21,484 knife and offensive weapon offences were recorded in England and Wales Jamie Grierson The Guardian The criminal justice system dealt with the highest number of knife and offensive weapon offences in nearly a decade last year, official figures have shown. In 2018, 21,484 knife and offensive weapon offences were recorded, the highest number dealt with since 2009, when 25,103 offences were registered, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The figures come after the chancellor, Philip Hammond, ... Read More »

The mental health crisis among America’s youth is real – and staggering

The first signs of a problem started to emerge around 2014: More young people said they felt overwhelmed and depressed. College counseling centers reported sharp increases in the number of students seeking… Jean Twenge The Conversation Even as studies were showing increases in symptoms of depression and in suicide among adolescents since 2010, some researchers called the concerns overblown and claimed there simply isn’t enough good… The idea that there’s an epidemic in anxiety or depression among youth “is simply ... Read More »

Lowe tells banks slow payment rollout could limit competition

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe last year asked chief executives of the big four banks to confirm they were putting enough resources into rolling out a high-speed payment system, amid concerns the… Clancy Yeates WAtoday The central bank on Thursday published emails Dr Lowe sent in September to ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott, Commonwealth Bank chief Matt Comyn, Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer, and then… It declined to release the responses from each of the CEOs, saying these were exempt from FOI ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »